Philippe Gilbert's crash at the Eneco Tour put an end to his hopes of winning not only Saturday's stage near his home in the Ardennes hills but also the race. However, his injuries are not serous enough to keep him off the bike for long, and the BMC Racing Team has confirmed that the World Champion will be at the start of the team time trial which opens the Vuelta a Espana in Vilanova de Arousa on Saturday.
Gilbert, along with teammate Taylor Phinney, crashed with about 60km to go on Saturday's Eneco stage. The Belgian finished the stage after some help by several teammates, crossing the finish line in 22nd place before heading to the hospital. Examinations showed no serious injuries, but the injury required eight stitches.
He has returned to his home in Monaco, and the doctors have ordered him several days of rest.
"I'm not the least worried that Phil will be at the start of the Vuelta," said team manager Yvon Ledanois. "It was impossible that he would start in the last stage of the Eneco Tour, but there's nothing broken or fundamentally injured. Phil will have three or four days rest, but with the form he is in, I do not expect a decline."
“He will be there fully for the Vuelta. We have two, three stages picked out, but he especially wants to lay the foundation for the World Championships.”
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